Creating a Culture of Wellness: A Baseline Multidimensional Analysis of Wellness at a Small Private Historically Black College and University

Victor Owen Romano, Gardner-Webb University


Wellness is something that needs to be taught, encouraged, and valued within a community for it to be obtainable. Preventable health disparities attributed to lack of physical activity continue to be a burden in predominantly African-American communities. Preventative wellness programming has been shown to be successful for students, as well as employees, as long as it is culturally relevant, especially when working within a predominantly African-American population. The purpose of this study was to establish a baseline multidimensional analysis of wellness in correspondence with the opening of a new wellness center.

Data were gathered from employees and students from a small private university by use of MicroFit software in three categories: health history, wellness profile, and fitness profile. Health History showed that students were at an elevated risk for developing cardiovascular disease, while high percentages (18.6%) of employees were already receiving treatment for cardiovascular disease. Wellness profile indicated that employee wellness was better than student wellness in all five categories that were analyzed (exercise, nutrition, safety, stress, and tobacco). Combination of staff and student campus wellness analysis showed that exercise and nutrition were the two aspects of wellness that tied for the worst scores (41 of 100). Overall campus fitness data indicated that blood pressure was pre-hypertensive (133/81), aerobic fitness was in the 30th percentile (VO2max 29.3 ml/kg/min), and BMI was 28.0. Other fitness tests were within normal standards. Data indicated that exercise and nutrition habits are areas that need to be improved.